A Pakistani newspaper, known to be close to the Pakistani government as well as the military establishment, has warned that international isolation is looming over the country.
In a column in The Nation, a writer in the newspaper said that Pakistan’s attempts to convince allies of the country’s ‘non-discriminatory’ approach towards terrorists has only elicited criticism.
Commenting on PM Narendra Modi’s statement at BRICS Summit where he indirectly referred to Pakistan as a ‘mother-ship of terrorism’, the newspaper said “Modi’s statement shows just how committed New Delhi is when it comes to isolating Pakistan globally.”
“From cancelling the Saarc summit to boycotting Pakistani artistes, the Modi regime is hell-bent on weakening Pakistan at every international forum,” it notes.
The blog post also lashed out at Pakistan government for imposing a foreign travel ban on Dawn reporter Cyril Almeida. The Pakistani scribe had reported on a rift between civilian and military leaderships on the powerful ISI’s covert support to terrorist groups in the country. The travel ban on Almeida had sparked a massive criticism of the government and the military from media houses, journalist associations and civil society.
“Instead of clarifying its stance on non-state actors, however, the federal government placed the name of the reporter of the story, Cyril Almeida, on Exit Control List,” it said. The column attacked the Pakistan government for its ‘immaturity’ in dealing with the situation and calling the Dawn story of a rift between the establishment and military, a threat to national security.
The column also notes the recent statements by Rana Muhammad Afzal, a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MP who had questioned the government’s failure to act against Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the head of its frontal charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Afzal, a member of the parliamentary panel, questioned the efficacy of Pakistan’s foreign policy and said it had become such that “we have not been able to get rid of Hafiz Saeed so far”.
Afzal had said that people like Saeed continue to hold protests and rallies and give speeches in places such as Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi, and the failure to curb terrorists would isolate Pakistan. “Then Bangladesh and Afghanistan will not speak to you, and Bhutan and Nepal will begin supporting India.”
The newspaper also hit out at the establishment and said “should at least have the decency to admit that Pakistan still isn’t 100 per cent sure which non-state actor is good or bad.”
The column also warns Pakistan that the increasing admonitions from the US do not bode well. It also adds that China too has expressed concerns.